Fever Pitch opens

DMZ · April 8, 2005 at 9:01 am · Filed Under Off-topic ranting 

I’ve heard it’s good. I won’t be seeing it, though I own the book it’s (not at all) based on and I’m a big fan of the author, who is loosely connected to this adaptation.

Allow me to recall an episode of “Alf”.
Alf: Hey Willie, come here, listen to this. let me know when this gets irritating, okay? (opens mouth, emits crazy high-pitched chirping noise accompanied by weird harmonic tone)
Willie: Enough! Enough! (Alf stops) It becomes irritating… almost at once.

Jimmy Fallon is like that sound to me.

(You can download the audio of that from this helpful person’s page)


22 Responses to “Fever Pitch opens”

  1. Michael on April 8th, 2005 9:15 am

    The only Hornby translation that seemed to work was “About a boy”, arguably his weakest novel. Seeing how Hollywood handled “Hi Fidelity”, I’m nervous about FP. Besides, I know that baseball will play better in the midwest (and elsewhere in the US), but it really bothers me that they changed the sport. Its like “the Natural” being about Stanley Mathews.

  2. Zzyzx on April 8th, 2005 9:28 am

    What was wrong about High Fidelity? Other than changing the setting, it was incredibly true to the book. It’s not like The Postman (based on the first 5 pages of the book) or I Robot (based on the title of the book)?

    I’m not a purist. I love the book FP, I like the original movie which rewrites the book, and I expect to like this movie which does a logical transfer of the setting.

  3. Will on April 8th, 2005 9:30 am

    I could not agree more regarding Fallon.

    And the soccer version of “The Natural” would clearly be about Alan Shearer.

  4. Aaron on April 8th, 2005 9:38 am

    I don’t understand why film production companies claim some films are “based on” a book, when even skimming the dust cover will reveal that to be patently untrue, and they could avoid all sorts of confusion by just saying it’s “inspired by” the same book. Maybe it’s a small distinction, but a little truth in advertizing never hurt anybody.

  5. Chris Caldwell on April 8th, 2005 9:59 am

    Zzyzx is right about movies and how well they remain “true” to the novels on which they are based. If The Natural was completely true to the novel, Roy would have taken the money. They fundamentally alterred the plot and got a better story out of it.

    DMZ: You can never make too many Alf analogies.

  6. dw on April 8th, 2005 10:13 am

    From what I’ve read, they wrote the treatment without Hornby being involved, and he didn’t care.

    My issue with the movie, though, is that it’s implying Arsenal == Red Sox, which doesn’t make sense. Arsenal has two things the Red Sox do not:

    1. A large, relatively normal, relatively polite fan base.
    2. A long and continuous history of winning titles.

    I think Arsenal == Cardinals, if you even want to try any comparison. It might have made a more interesting movie, because the Cards don’t have the presumed “mystique” that the screenwriters could just lean on and use as a crutch.

    Making comparisons between the FA and MLB is silly, anyway. How do compare Reading, for example? I think of them as the Tacoma Rainiers — even when they do win, it really doesn’t matter, and you’re always 40 minutes from the top level of play, anyway. (Reading is 30 minutes by train + 10 minutes by tube from Highbury.)

  7. dayvi on April 8th, 2005 10:29 am

    Of course the real topic of Fever Pitch (the novel) isn’t Arsenal, but rather the deep obsessiveness of some club supporters. I think a rough translation to baseball is possible, though I have never known anybody remotely whose baseball club obsession remotely resembles that described by Hornby. The closest analog in American sports support culture would have to be supporters of college athletics — probably football (our kind!).

    As for the comparison to Reading and Tacoma. There is one big difference. Tacoma will not have the opportunity at the end of this season to play in a four team playoff to play in the major leagues next year.

  8. msb on April 8th, 2005 10:42 am

    I believe that Hornsby, having already adapted his book for film once with the ’97 version of Fever pitch, was pretty much indifferent as to what Hollywood might do to it…

  9. Will on April 8th, 2005 10:46 am

    Wait a second… Regarding the two points made in post #6: As stated by Hornby in the text itself, part of the appeal of Arsenal, and one of the central themes of Fever Pitch as a memoir, is that Arsenal supporters (like it’s players) from about 1970 to 1990 were paranoid, persecuted, and acted generally sour and unhappy. Not Millwall-nasty, but not Ipswich-nice, either. They didn’t win anything (much less a title) for nearly 20 years, which isn’t exactly a “continuous” history, is it? He writes explicity that at that time, Arsenal were drab, boring (“boring, boring Aresenal”), mean, ugly, and in need of reinvigoration.

  10. loveya on April 8th, 2005 11:16 am

    I’m still annoyed that they went onto the field at the end of the World Series to finish filming. If I was an actual Boston fan I would have been furious to see the win being used as backdrop to a movie. Sheesh, just recreate the moment, don’t ruin the actual act by jumping in.

    Oh, and Jimmy Fallon hurts my eyes.

  11. paul on April 8th, 2005 11:18 am

    Arsenal, throughout its history, indeed has a long history of winning – that 20-year span was about the longest drought in club history. They were in need of reinvigoration, definitely, and Anfield ’89 provided that reinvigoration – in mere seconds, at the dying end of a match that Arsenal had to win by two clear goals, Mickey Thomas (who, when compared to Arsenal scoring legends like Cliff Bastin, Ian Wright, and Thierry Henry…well, to be kind he doesn’t rate) forever changed what it meant to be an Arsenal supporter. Suddenly, a whole generation who had grown up believing Arsenal couldn’t win saw that they could.

    One could argue that the Sox were not in need of reinvigoration – they being one of the better teams in the AL for the last dozen or so years – but the end of the story is the same. In one moment, what it meant to be a Red Sox fan changed almost completely.

    that said, I’m still not gonna see Fever Pitch. I loathe Drew Barrymore, and Jimmy Fallon…ugh.

  12. Mickey Brantley on April 8th, 2005 11:23 am

    This movie has nothing to do with Hornby. He made a load o’ cash on the sellout. End of story.

  13. Colm on April 8th, 2005 12:01 pm

    I’ve met Drew Barrymore and she’s really cute.

    And Shearer’s not a natural. Best or Gascoigne (self destructive soaks both) but not Shearer.

    And there seem to be a lot of well informed Gooners on the USSM site suddenly. Who knew?

  14. Shoeless Jose on April 8th, 2005 12:31 pm

    I’m indifferent to Jimmy Fallon — perhaps simply due to lack of exposure (at least it’s not Will Ferrell, ugh) but I can’t stand Drew Barrymore. She’s one of the Kewpie Dolls of Hell, along with Renee Zellweger and Meg Ryan, and there’s no way I’m pay money to see a movie with her in it.

  15. Taylor Davis on April 8th, 2005 12:44 pm

    Let’s be honest, Fever Pitch, the movie, appears to butcher Fever Pitch, the book. The book was probably my favorite of Hornby’s books.

  16. paul on April 8th, 2005 12:46 pm

    Gazza’s movie would not be The Natural. I’d lean more towards Tin Cup. He keeps trying, but gets in his own way too much.

    George Best’s story would be Leaving Las Vegas. What a waste of a sublime talent.

  17. Jason on April 8th, 2005 1:19 pm

    I just want to say that I’m impressed with the depth of English soccer knowledge of the readers of this site. Even if you are a bunch of Gooners.

    Go Rovers!

  18. robbbbbb on April 8th, 2005 1:27 pm

    Derek, I find it vaguely disturbing that you can recall an episode of Alf.

  19. cdafan on April 8th, 2005 1:36 pm

    From everything I’ve read – this is an adaptation in name only, with screenwriters simply using Hornby’s core concept. #4’s idea of this film being “inspired by” is probably much more accurate. All I know is my girlfriend will drag me to see this because “Drew is just so good in these romantic comedies, and so what if it has sports in it, I bet its a great date movie . . . ”

    The thing that strikes me as interesting about this movie was the Red Sox Nation’s reaction to Fallon and Berrymore being on the field after the Sox won the Series. Most notably Bill Simmons, along with several other RSN members, acted as though the actors desecrated the cherished moment by being on the field. Frankly, if the Mariners were to win a Series I could give a d*mn about who was on the field afterward. A veritable who’s who of annoying celebrities could rush the field and I would simply be content in my team finally winning something of consequence. Fallon and Berrymore want to rush the field – fine by me. Carrot Top . . . come on down.

  20. Matto on April 8th, 2005 3:11 pm

    I, too am a Hornby fan and love all his books. I loved the adaptation of HF and About A Boy. I Own the Fever Pitch DVD (of the original obviously) I saw a sneakpeek of this last week. It was a good popcorn movie. Fallon’s actually pretty good in this.

  21. Deanna on April 8th, 2005 5:21 pm

    I like Drew Barrymore and I love baseball movies and I actually have no idea who the heck Jimmy Fallon is, having not really watched TV in the last fifteen years. (I do remember Alf, though.)

    I expect to enjoy the movie, if I can find anyone to go see it with. The previews make it look amusing, if nothing else. I also haven’t read the book it’s stolen a base from, which may help. Then again, I also enjoyed Mr. 3000, which was just excessively silly.

  22. Arford on April 8th, 2005 5:44 pm

    It’s strange. I really enjoyed the movie adaptations of About a Boy and High Fidelity, but my stomach turns at even the thought of seeing this one. I guess it’s because I felt like I related so much to the original source material. Fever Pitch is one of my favorite books (even if it is about the Arse). And it’s not about baseball, it’s not a romantic comedy, and it damn well doesn’t involve Jimmy freaking Fallon. I’ll pass…